Cold kills teenager on the way home from party

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The Independent Online

A teenager found dead after he left a school disco wearing little more than a T-shirt and jeans probably died of hypothermia, police said.

A teenager found dead after he left a school disco wearing little more than a T-shirt and jeans probably died of hypothermia, police said.

John Winter was found on Saturday afternoon in a field half a mile from a community centre where he had attended a dance organised by fellow pupils from Teesdale Comprehensive School.

Detective Supt Paul Harker said there was nothing to suggest that the 15-year-old's death was suspicious.

The teenager, who had been drinking alcohol at the party in Kinninvie, Co Durham on Friday evening, was said to have left alone at the end of the night, without a jumper or coat. He was seen heading across bleak, snow-covered farmland.

Det Supt Harker said: "There were no injuries on his body other than a few scratches which were consistent with someone having gone off across open country and scrambling over walls and barbed wire in the dark."

John, a promising footballer, who had trials at Leeds United, lived with his mother, Amanda, and other family members in Barnard Castle. John's uncle, Geoffrey Ainsley, who lives nearby with his father Stephen, said the family was devastated.

His mother raised the alarm on Saturday afternoon when John did not return, and within an hour his body was found.

Police appealed for anyone who was at the disco - attended by more than 100 teenagers - to help them piece together the boy's last movements.

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